What comes after metaphor?: Using patient narratives to promote self-management

September 16, 2019 12:00PM

Management of chronic pain is as much about supporting and facilitating the patient as about providing them with expert advice. Over the last two decades, patient education - with an emphasis on metaphors based on neurobiology - has shown to be an effective supplement to other treatments for chronic pain conditions. But as many patients (and their clinicians) have found, simply delivering a metaphor is unlikely to be therapeutic. Rather, it seems that pedagogy and communication skills are very important too. In essence, patient-focussed pain education is about making pain acceptable, or even meaningful, so that the patient can use this knowledge to self-manage pain accordingly.

In this webinar, physiotherapist and educator Dr. Morten Hoegh discusses how clinicians with an understanding of the basic principles of pain-related neurobiology and related metaphors can use a narrative approach by turning diagnosis, biological mechanisms and management schemes into a coherent story that enables people living with pain to engage in social domains with an understanding of their pain, and use narratives to reduce stigmatization and misunderstandings in their social interactions.


Dr Morten Hoegh

After qualifying as a clinical physiotherapist (1999) and completing several clinical exams, Morten was granted the title of specialist physiotherapist in musculoskeletal physiotherapy (2005) and sports physiotherapy (2006). In 2010, he made an entry to academia when he joined the multidisciplinary Master-of-Science in Pain: Science & Society at King's College London (UK). From 2015-2019, Morten completed his PhD in Medicine/pain at the Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP), Aalborg University. He has been employed as an external lecturer at Aalborg University since June 2019.

Most recently, he was appointed vice-chair of the European Pain Federation’s Educational Committee and has been involved in the development of the Diploma in Pain Physiotherapy and underlying curriculum. Currently, he is overseeing the developments of similar programs in nursing and psychology. At a national level, Morten has been appointed to several chairs and committees including the Danish Medicine and Health Authorities and the Danish Council of Ethics. He has co-authored a textbook on pain, and written several book chapters, clinical commentaries and peer-reviewed basic science articles on pain and pain modulation. Morten is a prolific debater and advocate of evidence-based and patient-centered approaches to treatment in general.